Police are frightened after a woman reportedly posed as a social worker and attempted to take a newborn baby from his home on May 31.
The suspect arrived at the Santa Ana, California home and identified herself as Mayella Ortega to the infant’s mom, ABC7 reports.
“Ortega” allegedly told the woman that she was there to take her 1-week-old baby into protective custody, but didn’t provide a physical ID that proved she was with social services.
After the mother refused, the woman threatened to return with the sheriff’s department and forcibly take the baby from her. The mom recalled:
“And I say, ‘OK, if the sheriff has to come in, that’s fine. But I don’t want to give you my kid.”
As the imposter left the woman’s home, she and her sister’s were able to film her walking away using a cell phone.
ABC7 reports that no one by the name of “Mayella Ortega” works for social services. Furthermore, there are no records related to the mom’s home.
The suspect has since turned herself in to police. The newborn’s mom confirmed that the woman in custody is the same person who knocked on her door that day.
However, the “social worker” told authorities she wasn’t there to take the woman’s baby. If not to take the mother’s child, it’s unclear what the woman was there for.
Santa Ana PD, Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said:
“How did this woman know that this victim had a child less than two weeks ago, where she lives. How’d she get her personal information? That’s all scary to us.”
Homicide detectives are planning to interview the suspect further to figure out exactly what her motive was. Authorities have not yet released her identity or the charges she faces.
Santa Ana police are warning parents that law enforcement would always be present when social services is there to take a child.
Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact the Santa Ana Police Department at 714-245-8665.